Multi-day Ride or Bike Tour
Basically the same as the long training ride, the multiday ride needs to be treated with caution, and eat a high carb meal every night or you run the risk of 'hitting the wall' and developing chronic fatigue. If this is going to be a high intensity event on certain days, it is important to avoid eating in the 4 hour pre-ride interval to avoid GI distress. But on those long slow days, that's not an issue. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal each day 3 to 4 hours before the ride will maximize glycogen reserves. This is the dietary program most appropriate for a multi-day bike tour.
- 4 days prior - balanced diet with 60-70% Calories from carbohydrates; at least 600 grams per day of carbohydrates in the 2 to 3 days prior to the ride
- 4 hours prior - if the intensity is moderate, eating during this interval is OK, but avoid fatty foods and eat 2 hours before the ride. A 300 gram carbohydrate meal 3 to 4 hour pre ride is recommended
- 4 minutes prior - nothing special
- During the ride - regular snacks, energy gels, or sports drinks to replace the estimated Calories burned per hour
- Post ride - a post ride carbohydrate snack, particularly in the 10 to 15 minutes immediately afterwards, will take advantage of the window for maximum glycogen resynthesis and may cut down on muscle soreness. Eat a high carbohydrate meal that night after the ride, and try to eat at least 600 grams of carbohydrate per day above and beyond that needed to replace the Calories burned on that day's ride.
- Fluids - one water bottle per hour, perhaps a bit more in hot weather